Sunday, April 30, 2023

Matsue Buke Yashiki & Gardens


A Buke Yashiki is best translated as samurai residence, and this one in the castle town of Matsue belonged to middle -ranked samurai.

It is located on the north side of the moat around the castle on what is now called Shiome Nawate, and is close to another former samurai residence that was the home of Lafcadio Hearn.

Starting in 2016 the residence and gardens have been restored bsed upon Meiji-era drawings of the property.

The rear garden is in Izumo style.

It was originally built in 1733 and it is believed that Kobei Shiomi, after whom this street is now named, lived here. Higher ranking samurai lived across the moat within the castle walls.

Prior to the renovations, it actually wasn't much of an attraction, but with now it is well worth a visit.

The previous post in this series on Izumo and Matsue was the nearby Lafcadio Hearn home and garden.


  1. Glad to learn about this! I visited Matsue prior to the renovations, so now I have an excuse to return.

    1. Matsue has made a concerted effort in recent years..... maybe you havnt been to the new History Museum nearby...... also everywhere offers 50 % discount to non-japanese

    2. Indeed, missed the museum, too...thank you for mentioning it. I did have a lovely time on my 3-day visit to Matsue (one spent day-tripping to Izumo). I remember wishing I had stayed a bit longer in the area - it was a nice change from the tourism insanity of Kyoto!

    3. let me know your interests and I will suggest places...

    4. Suggestions will be much appreciated! I'm interested in history/archeology for any period (especially "everyday life"), gardens and nature spots, traditional architectural techniques (hence a lot of popping into shrines and castle ruins). I recall visiting the castle and grounds last time, and taking boats through the canals/moat; my visit also happened to coincide with some kind of drum festival/parade, which was a delightful surprise. Game for any place that can be reached by walking and/or public transit...could be in the city itself, or out on a day-trip.

    5. probably best to continue this conversation by email. my gmail addy is the name i use here...... let me know where you have been in Shimane

  2. Beautiful photography and such interesting history! Thank you “Uncle” Jake :):)